Online MB Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ONLINE MERIT BADGE HELP DESK
IMPORTANT: Due to a system update/upgrade that started today, ALL FORM COLLECTION IS SUSPENDED AT THIS TIME. Scouts participating in Merit Badge programs this week will be given direction during their online program today. Those who completed online programs in previous weeks, please watch your e-mail for guidance tonight. Our apologies for this interruption in service.

ONLINE MERIT BADGE QUESTIONS:
Online Merit Badge Program Questions should be e-mailed to: onlineMBsupport@scoutinghelp.freshdesk.com

This will help ensure you receive a reply in a timely manner. You should expect a reply within 12 hours or less.

Please review these items in DETAIL. Many questions we are asked are actually addressed directly to the SCOUT during their daily sessions; if you (as an adult/parent/guardian) have a question, please check with your Scout to see if they were given guidance during their session.

How does an online merit badge work?

Each day, the Scout logs into the online learning session. A Merit Badge Counselor presents an hour or more of content. The content may or may not relate DIRECTLY to the badge; think of this as a “walking, talking” merit badge book.

After each session, Scouts should visit the password-protected resource webpage for their badge. On that page are Daily Review buttons; by completing each Daily Review, the Scout’s progress is tracked toward completion of one or more requirements.

After the LAST online learning session, a “FINAL REVIEW” button, along with several “UPLOAD” buttons become active. These are available for a full week after the last session, to allow Scouts to complete or update their work and upload any projects or other work they have done.

One week after the final online learning session, your Scout will receive files including their “blue card”, Scoutbook/Troopmaster Upload, and a review of the work submitted. After that time, if there are unfinished requirements, they must work with a Counselor in their area to finish.

Can two (or more) Scouts use the same computer?

Yes! Each should register separately so we can track each Scouts progress, but they may share a computer for each day’s session. They will each have a chance to mark themselves “present” during daily attendance.

Do we need a camera and microphone?

No. You simply need a computer with speakers. The sessions are hosted through a standard web browser (chrome, explorer, etc.); you will be able to see and hear the instructor. You will also be able to type questions using a “chat” field. There will be other interactive opportunities throughout the sessions, but none of them require a camera/microphone.

How do they submit their work?

After each session, Scouts should visit the password-protected resource webpage for their badge and complete each “Daily Review.” These include questions to answer, multiple choice “quizzes,” and upload options for submitting their work.

After the LAST online learning session, a “FINAL REVIEW” button, along with several “UPLOAD” buttons become active. These are available for a full week after the last session, to allow Scouts to complete or update their work and upload any projects or other work they have done.

Are there any prerequisites?

No, not really. Scouts with no prior work complete can participate. However, there will be a few tasks that we encourage Scouts to complete as they prepare during the days before the badge sessions begin. Scouts are also encouraged to get a start on any requirements they would like; Scouts must also understand that there are some requirements that will NOT be covered by the sessions (such as cooking camping meals in Cooking Merit Badge.)

How will they get their “blue card” Merit Badge Applications?

Our registration system (through BlackPug Software) helps us track everyone’s progress and provides printable “blue cards” that we will e-mail to each family after the Merit Badge is complete. There are also Scoutbook and Troopmaster files that can be downloaded for easy update of your Unit records.

How will Youth Protection and “no one-on-one contact” be maintained?

Through a partnership with stemCONNECT, a local Florida company that connects schools with science experts around the globe, we are able to create a virtual classroom. That classroom, and its instructor, will be monitored by the stemCONNECT staff, guaranteeing a second adult overseeing all interactions. Youth will be in “view only” mode with limited interaction with each other.

I don’t live in Florida. Can I still participate?

Of course! The internet makes this possible for EVERYONE!

Speaking of Florida, that means the sessions are in EASTERN time, right?

Yes, all times listed are in EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME (EDT). Please plan accordingly for Scouts in other time zones.

What about Scoutmaster approval? Scouts should have their approval before beginning a merit badge, right?

Scoutmaster approval is not OFFICIALLY required, but it is a REALLY good idea. You can do this through an online form linked on your confirmation e-mail. Forward that to your Scoutmaster to notify them of your participation in this program.

Will we complete the ENTIRE Merit Badge?

Probably not. While it is possible for a Scout to complete these badges in a week or so, that would be a very busy week. Our intent is to present content each day that gets the Scout STARTED on a set of requirements. It is then up to them to complete an additional task, study project, or activity OFFLINE and provide confirmation of that completed task at the start of each day’s session. Confirmation is completed through a variety of methods, including document uploads, photo sharing, and quizzes that will review and test important content. The goal is to help Scouts potentially complete 80% – 90% of the necessary requirements. In some rare cases, Scouts may complete 100% of the badge requirements.